Anthony Joshua tells Jarrell Miller he will ‘strip him of his soul’ in June bout

The two fighters are on a tour promoting their fight, this press conference was a less tetchy affair than the first. (AFP)
Updated 25 February 2019

Anthony Joshua tells Jarrell Miller he will ‘strip him of his soul’ in June bout

  • Miller calls IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Joshua "posh"
  • Fight to take place at Madison Square Garden on June 1.

LONDON: Anthony Joshua has promised Jarrell Miller he will “strip him of his soul” when he defends his world heavyweight titles as he responded to taunts from his US challenger he was a “posh” champion.
British boxer Joshua will fight in the US for the first time when he defends his IBF, WBA and WBO crowns at Madison Square Garden in the challenger’s home city of New York on June 1.
It will be a clash between two unbeaten boxers, with Joshua boasting a record of 21 knockouts in 22 wins compared to Miller’s mark of 23-0-1, with 20 KOs.
The pair had already held a testy press conference in New York last week, with Miller proclaiming Joshua a “fraud” and “a pussy.”
Monday’s event was relatively restrained until Miller suggested London’s Joshua had had things “easy.”
“I’ve still got 10 years left in the sport,” Joshua said. “I don’t know anything else. I like to knock people out and beat people up.”
Former Olympic champion Joshua has largely avoided the kind of ‘trash talk’ common in the promotion of many boxing bouts but he appeared riled Monday, particularly when Miller said Tyson Fury was now the talk of the British heavyweight scene.
Miller, making mock snoring noises during Joshua’s opening remarks, said: “The facial can’t fight for him, the fans can’t fight for him, he’s not the popular one, all I here is Tyson Fury now — he (Joshua) is a sucker.”
But Joshua said: “I’m going to strip him of his soul in that ring. I’m going to reconstruct his face and his body on June 1.”

CHEESEBURGERS AND HARD WORK

Miller, alongside Joshua on a stage at a hotel near London’s Heathrow Airport, said: “I’ve been hearing AJ’s too posh, his nose is up here sometimes.
“For all the underdogs out there who are told they’re not good enough, I’m proof that with one or two cheeseburgers and hard work and dedication you can go far.”
But Joshua insisted he too had known hard times.
“I got banned from the area I was growing up in because I was getting into too much trouble,” he said.
“The state of my hands — this isn’t from boxing, this is from street-fighting. I’ve changed my whole lifestyle around.
“All this spirit this boy’s got, I’m going to strip him of his soul. I’m going to be a surgeon because I’m going to give him a makeover.”
Last week Brooklyn native Miller, a former kickboxer, was adamant he would stop Joshua in seven rounds, a claim he repeated on Monday.
“I don’t need to think, I’ll just get it done. You’ve got to go balls to balls. If I ever doubted myself I would not have made it this far,” he said.
“The game plan’s to stop him in seven rounds. You know how I feel about AJ, and my back-story and where I come from and where we’re going.”
After abandoning plans to fight again at Wembley on April 13, Joshua is now trying to break in on the US market where Deontay Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion and Fury have held sway since their controversial draw in Los Angeles in December.
The 29-year-old Joshua last fought in September at Wembley, stopping Russia’s Alexander Povetkin in seven rounds.


Premier League in spotlight as debate swirls around virus action

David de Gea
Updated 07 April 2020

Premier League in spotlight as debate swirls around virus action

  • The league was last week accused by one British lawmaker of operating in a ‘moral vacuum’

LONDON: Premier League clubs are facing a fierce backlash after Liverpool became the latest club to tap into public funds during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)  pandemic as players and bosses struggle to resolve a festering pay-cut row.

English top-flight clubs, among the wealthiest in the world, have come under intense scrutiny as the health crisis escalates, with government ministers warning bosses and players they should “think carefully” over their next moves.
The highest-paid Premier League players such as David de Gea and Kevin De Bruyne command mouthwatering salaries, reportedly nearing £20 million ($25 million, €23 million) a year.
Even the average salary for a Premier League footballer is more than £3 million a year, according to the 2019 Global Sports Salaries Survey.
European champions Liverpool, who recorded pre-tax profits of £42 million in February, announced their decision to furlough some nonplaying staff on Saturday, becoming the fifth Premier League club to do so.
The controversial move comes with no sign of a deal between Premier League clubs and players’ representatives on a pay cut.
Olivier Dowden, a culture and sports minister, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said people had a right to expect leadership from football.
“Clubs, players and owners should be thinking very carefully about their next steps,” he said.
“Leaving the public purse to pick up the cost of furloughing low-paid workers, while players earn millions and billionaire owners go untouched is something I know the public will rightly take a very dim view of.”
Former Liverpool stars Jamie Carragher and Stan Collymore strongly criticized the move by the Premier League leaders.
Under the scheme, the British government pays 80 percent of wages. Liverpool said they would top up the remaining 20 percent.
“I don’t know of any Liverpool fan of any standing that won’t be anything other than disgusted at the club for furloughing staff,” tweeted Collymore.
Liverpool fan group Spirit of Shankly initially supported the move but later wrote to the club expressing concern at the negative reaction.
“We understand this is essentially an employee/employer issue, but as LFC’s recognised official supporter representatives we are concerned about the damage this is causing to our club’s reputation and values,” the group said.

HIGHLIGHTS

● The highest-paid Premier League players such as David de Gea and Kevin De Bruyne command mouthwatering salaries, reportedly nearing £20 million ($25 million, €23 million) a year.

● Olivier Dowden, a culture and sports minister, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said people had a right to expect leadership from football.

Liverpool’s opponents in last year’s Champions League final, Tottenham, owned by billionaire Joe Lewis, have also opted for the furlough option, along with Newcastle, Norwich and Bournemouth.
Reigning champions Manchester City said they would not be using the government’s job retention scheme, with Manchester United reportedly set to follow their example.
The Premier League has been seen as lagging behind other European leagues in its response to coronavirus — in Spain, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid players have agreed to pay cuts of 70 percent.
The league was last week accused by one British lawmaker of operating in a “moral vacuum” and many politicians have urged action.
The Premier League’s suggested strategy involving a combination of pay cuts and deferrals amounting to 30 percent of wages, was discussed in a conference call with players’ and managers’ representatives on Saturday.